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A perpetual motion machine that will work

  1. Feb 3, 2008 #1
    a perpetual motion machine that will work....

    A magazine held a competition, inviting its readers to submit new
    scientific theories on ANY subject. Below is the winner:

    Subject: Perpetual Motion

    When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is
    dropped, it always lands buttered side down. Therefore, if a slice of
    toast is strapped to a cat's back, buttered side up, and the animal is
    then dropped, the two opposing forces will cause it to hover, spinning
    inches above the ground. If enough toast-laden felines were used, they
    could form the basis of a high-speed monorail system.

    ......... and then this mail got this reply from one of the readers

    I've been thinking about this cat/toast business for a while. In the
    buttered toast case, it's the butter that causes it to land buttered
    side down - it doesn't have to be toast, the theory works equally well
    with Jacob's crackers. So to save money you just miss out the toast -
    and butter the cats.
    Also, should there be an imbalance between the effects of cat and
    butter, there are other substances that have a stronger affinity for
    Probability of carpet impact is determined by the following simple

    p = s * t(t)/t(c)

    where p is the probability of carpet impact s is the "stain" value of
    the toast-covering substance - an indicator of the effectiveness of the
    toast topping in permanently staining the carpet. Chicken Tikka Masala,
    for example, has a very high s value, while the s value of water is

    t(c) and t(t) indicate the tone of the carpet and topping - the value
    of p being strongly related to the relationship between the colour of
    the carpet and topping, as even chicken tikka masala won't cause a
    permanent and obvious stain if the carpet is the same colour.

    So it is obvious that the probability of carpet impact is maximised if
    you use chicken tikka masala and a white carpet - in fact

    combination gives a p value of one, which is the same as the probability
    of a cat landing on its feet.

    Therefore a cat with chicken tikka masala on its back will be certain
    to hover in mid air, while there could be problems with buttered toast
    as the toast may fall off the cat, causing a terrible monorail crash
    resulting in nauseating images of members of the royal family visiting
    accident victims in hospital, and politicians saying it wouldn't have
    happened if their party was in power as there would have been more
    investment in cat-toast glue research. Therefore it is in the
    interests, not only of public safety but also public sanity, if the
    buttered-toast-on-cats idea is scrapped, to be replaced by a monorail
    powered by cats smeared with chicken tikka masala floating above a rail
    made from white shag pile carpet.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2008 #2


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    Gold Member

    That has got to be one of the funniest things that I've seen next to the 'Is Hell exothermic or endothermic' paper. Thanks.
  4. Feb 4, 2008 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Being funny just means I'll lock it instead of deleting it.
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